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National Restaurant Association - 40 hours is full time

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40 hours is full time

The Affordable Care Act needs a check-up, the National Restaurant Association and American Hotel & Lodging Association said in a joint op-ed today.

One top concern: The health care law defines full-time as 30 hours a week.

"The ACA changed the definition of a full-time employee from someone who works the traditional 40-hour workweek to anyone who works 30 hours a week," NRA President & CEO Dawn Sweeney and AH&LA President & CEO Katherine Lugar write in The Hill. "Instead of benefiting workers, this provision is actually harming them ... Businesses of all sizes are having to reduce the hours of workers who had been working 40 hours a week."  

The ACA's full-time definition affects which businesses are considered large employers, and which employees must be offered health coverage. The law exposes large employers to possible fines if they don't offer health plans to full-time employees and their dependents.

The ACA's so-called "employer mandate" covers businesses with the equivalent of 100 full-time employees this year, and employers with 50 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees starting in 2016.  

The NRA supports bringing the ACA's definition of full-time employment more in line with traditional workplace standards. The House passed a bill in January to make the change, and more than 30 senators are now sponsoring the bipartisan "Forty Hours is Full Time Act" in the Senate. The NRA is a lead member of the "More Time for Full Time" initiative.

Read more about the impact of the ACA's 30-hour definition on restaurant and hotel employers.

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